Digitalization is reshaping industries and businesses with the Internet of Things (IoT) at the forefront, creating new business opportunities for organizations of all sizes. From enhancing operational efficiencies to driving customer experiences, IoT connectivity is a strategic imperative for businesses looking to stay competitive. According to an Eseye report, 81% of organizations are planning IoT device expansion in the next two years. For industrial organizations alone, IoT is projected to grow to an $850+ billion dollar industry by 2030.
By integrating IoT into the overall digital strategy, businesses can support operational agility, scalability and future-readiness. Connected devices can help collect data for real-time monitoring, predictive maintenance, and help organizations swiftly respond to market dynamics to boost profitability.
The business value of IoT across various sectors
IoT has the potential to transform the way organizations operate, innovate and deliver value. It offers many opportunities for businesses across various sectors, such as enhanced efficiency, production, agility and enhanced worker safety. Here are several areas where IoT can drive value:
Data-driven decision making: Connected devices and sensors gather real-time information on processes, operations and consumer behaviour. Whether it's optimizing supply chains, predicting maintenance needs or tailoring products to meet customer preferences, IoT empowers organizations to make informed, data-driven decisions.
Operational efficiency and cost savings: IoT offers a pathway to unparalleled operational efficiency. By automating routine tasks and processes through connected devices, businesses can reduce human intervention and errors, resulting in cost savings and improved productivity. Predictive maintenance, for instance, allows organizations to anticipate equipment failures and schedule maintenance, minimizing downtime and optimizing resource allocation.
Enhanced customer experience: Understanding customer behaviour and preferences is vital for any organization. IoT enables businesses to gather rich data on how customers interact with their products or services. This data can be leveraged to enhance user experiences, tailor offerings and deliver personalized services. From smart retail solutions to payment capabilities, organizations can create a more engaging experience for their customers.
Supply chain optimization: For industries with complex supply chains, IoT can provide significant value. Real-time monitoring of goods in transit, warehouse management, and demand forecasting are just a few applications that can improve the supply chain. IoT can help optimize inventory levels, reduce waste and improve delivery times, ultimately leading to a more streamlined and cost-effective operation.
Sustainability and environmental impact: In an increasingly eco-conscious world, IoT can play a pivotal role in driving sustainability initiatives. By monitoring and optimizing energy usage, waste management and resource consumption, organizations can significantly reduce their environmental footprint.
Worker health and safety: In sectors where employee safety is paramount, IoT can help protect both workers and business’ reputation. Real-time monitoring of workplace conditions, hazardous materials, and employee well-being can prevent accidents and create a safer working environment. Wearable IoT devices can track vital signs and prompt immediate responses in case of emergencies.
Challenges to implementing and scaling IoT
While the potential of IoT connectivity is immense, businesses must address challenges related to data privacy, security, compliance, interoperability and scalability, among others. Adopting a strategic approach can help organizations tackle challenges effectively. Here are some areas of attention for organizations looking to implement and scale their IoT infrastructure successfully.
Data privacy and security: Security measures should be integrated into the core of all IoT projects. This should include data encryption, secure authentication, and regular security audits. Educate stakeholders and employees about the significance of data privacy and security to cultivate a culture of vigilance and compliance within the organization.
Reliable connectivity: Connectivity is fundamental to the operational success of any IoT implementation. IoT applications are dependent on collecting data continuously from various locations. Organizations should have reliable connectivity to reach close to 100% network uptime for high availability.
Network scalability: As the number of IoT devices increases, the strain on networks escalates. Traditional networking infrastructures may struggle to handle the massive volume of data generated by IoT devices. Scaling networks to accommodate this growth in a cost-effective and efficient manner is a significant challenge.
IoT device management: Onboarding IoT devices — setting them up, configuring and connecting them to the network — can be demanding and time-consuming. Schedule pressure creates a temptation to shortcut this work. However, inadequately configured or non-updated IoT devices are a common entry point for cyber attacks on IIoT networks.
Governance and compliance: Establish a comprehensive governance framework to manage IoT initiatives, ensuring adherence to regulatory requirements and industry standards. Engage legal and compliance experts to keep the organization informed about evolving data privacy laws and regulations, helping to make informed and compliant decisions.
Risk mitigation: Conduct regular risk assessments to identify potential vulnerabilities and gaps in the IoT ecosystem and network. Develop mitigation strategies and action plans to address identified risks promptly, enhancing the overall security and resilience of the IoT infrastructure.
By following this strategic approach and addressing these challenges proactively, businesses can navigate the complexities of IoT adoption and harness its full potential for business growth.
Choosing the right IoT partner
TELUS offers IoT connectivity management, so you can be hands-off in managing your IoT infrastructure. Manage your IoT platform in Canada and abroad and get dedicated support to help you deploy and scale your IoT solutions.
Our network is purpose-built for IoT and designed to allow businesses to scale their IoT Infrastructure without delay. With our IoT network, your business won’t compete with other traffic, such as those meant for consumer cellular data.